After listening carefully to the testimonies of participants at the recent 7th European Meeting of people experiencing poverty, some of whom were directly effected by the recent attacks on Roma and migrants in Italy and further dismayed by the range of tough new measures to tackle ‘illegal’ immigration the new Italian government unveiled yesterday, the European Anti Poverty Network (EAPN) calls on the European institutions to ensure that human rights obligations are respected.
“EAPN is extremely concerned by the anti-immigrant and particularly anti-Roma rhetoric and violence that has flamed Italy these recent weeks”, declared Fintan Farrell, the EAPN Director.
Police in Italy have arrested last week hundreds of suspected ‘illegal’ immigrants in raids across the country. Expulsion orders were issued for several dozens of those detained and due process seems to be ignored. Roma families in Naples fled after angry locals set fire to their temporary homes.
“EAPN strongly condemns the policy of expulsions without respect for rights and actions which exalt violence, racism and xenophobia”, Mr. Farrell added. “These measures and the current xenophobic discourse are propagating prejudice and encouraging the identification of Roma and immigrants as criminals.”
EAPN was further dismayed when the new Italian government unveiled yesterday a range of tough new measures to tackle illegal immigration. These restrictive measures and the message it sends out to the general public will further negatively effect all immigrants and Roma living in Italy and will also negatively impact on people perceived to be immigrants and Roma even if they are Italian citizens.
Mr. Farrell commented: “We urge Italian political and societal leaders to take action to ensure the protection of Roma and immigrants who are very vulnerable giving the current climate. We further urge the European institutions to monitor closely the situation in Italy and the new measures unveiled by the Italian government to ensure that they comply with EU anti discrimination legislation and with the obligations to protect fundamental rights.”
For further information, please contact Audrey Gueudet (Information Officer) or Fintan Farrell (Director), tel. +32 2 226 58 50 – fax. +32 2 226 58 69 – E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org – Website: http://www.eapn.org/